A community group plans to start a viral video campaign in Brighton next month after learning that it has the second-highest suicide rate in England.
Grassroots Training aims to start its campaign on World Suicide Day – Saturday 10 September – at the Rock Inn in Kemp Town from 7pm to 9.30pm.
The Whitehawk-based organisation said that it intends to link with suicide prevention activists overseas in the first event of its kind.
It said that the purpose of World Suicide Day was to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.
The group added that it was an opportunity for all sectors of the community – the public, charities, clinicians, politicians and policymakers – to join together to focus public attention on the unacceptable burden and costs of suicidal behaviours.
The group’s viral video campaign is called I Am Alive.
Chris Brown, director of Grassroots Training, said: “An astonishing 1 in 20 of us will contemplate suicide at some point this year.
“But we can do something about it and that’s what the video shows – it promotes a positive message that if people reach out to others then lives can absolutely be saved.
“Not talking about suicide isn’t working.”
The event at the Rock Inn will include a virtual appearance by Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, and a new interpretation of Gloomy Sunday, the “suicide song”, by Angi Mariani from Latest magazine.
Tom Scanlon, chairman of Brighton and Hove’s Suicide Prevention Strategy Working Party, is also due to attend.
Risk factors for suicide include mental illness, drink or drug problems, unemployment and poor social support networks.
The “I Am Alive” video, which was filmed in Brighton, contains inspirational personal accounts of how people’s reasons for living, however small, helped them to choose life instead of suicide.
The moving statements are being used in an attempt to help raise awareness of suicide prevention and generate a positive message around the subject.
As a Brighton-based project, Grassroots is asking the people of Brighton and Hove to support the I Am Alive campaign in three ways
- forward the video to 20 people
- talk about suicide with anyone they are concerned about
- make a donation via the Grassroots website to help to pay for training those on the front line
Grassroots said that it believes that suicide prevention is not only the preserve of doctors and social workers but that anyone can help.